Written by Wendy Kreitzman Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00
There are deer in Great Neck! White tailed deer, to be specific. No one seems to be certain if the deer actually live in the community, but, for sure, they do visit. About two week weeks ago a deer was captured on camera in Saddle Rock, the photo sent to the Great Neck Record thanks to Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy. This week a deer was spotted in Kensington.
And two years ago, in May of 2010, a deer was discovered wandering along North Station Road in Great Neck Plaza, apparently attempting to enter a bank. An employee at the near-by Andrew Hotel was astonished to see the young buck and called the police, who were on the scene quickly.
The frightened deer was injured, possibly from his travels, and the police emergency service personnel managed to capture him. Unfortunately, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the deer was seriously injured and had to be euthanized.
Following that incident, reports surfaced that one or two other “deer sightings” had occurred in Kings Point. At that time there was speculation that the deer could have swam across from Westchester or City Island, as deer are reportedly strong swimmers.
Then just a few weeks ago, when Levy spotted the deer in his village, interest in local deer surfaced. Where do they come from? How do they get here? Are these lone incidents or do we have more “deer neighbors” than we ever imagined.
Town of North Hempstead Public Safety Commissioner Andrew DeMartin told the Record that not too long ago a deer was spotted in the town’s Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park. DeMartin speculated that this lone four-point buck might have been brought here by a resident who could no longer care for the wildlife. Since the deer was on town property, the town was responsible, but the deer disappeared before any action could be taken.
The local deer sightings two years ago brought forth lots of questions and “answers.” Some claimed that the deer swam across the Long Island Sound, possibly from Connecticut. The DEC does report that deer can swim: “Deer can swim, can run up to 35 to 40 miles per hour and can jump over and eight-foot high fence.” And the DEC also reports that the deer seen in Great Neck, the white-tailed deer, are found throughout New York State.
Further, on April 1, The New York Times reported that “Deer are occasionally spotted in Alley Pond in Queens” and other online sources report sightings of such deer along the Cross Island Parkway, near Alley Pond. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the federal government under the Department of Interior, has told the Record that there is actually a small herd of white-tailed deer in the wooded area right across from Alley Pond. However, personnel at the Alley Pond Environmental Center were not able to officially confirm any such sightings.
DeMartin said that there are more and more wildlife sightings, with both the red fox and deer garnering more sightings on Long Island, especially on the North Shore. “We know they’re here (red fox and deer) … possibly many more deer than we see, possibly hiding in evergreen areas,” DeMartin told the Record. And he agrees with the numerous blogs and reported online information sites that report that most of the local deer come from the East End and make their way west via green areas such as Northern State Parkway.
“At this time they’re no problem, but we’ll just wait and see,” DeMartin stated.